What's Really Happening - 2004/04/12



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of April 12, 2004  


In the past month, CSEA has concluded agreements or reached understandings that resolve several important grievances. The issues are important to all full-time faculty.

Right to representation. A mediation hearing resolved two grievances by a Career & Technical Division junior faculty member. The settlement in one case affirmed the right to representation. Faculty have the right to have an Association Representative present at any meeting with a manager that the faculty member believes could lead to any form of disciplinary action. At any point in such a meeting, a faculty member may-and, we suggest, should-request the presence of his/her union representative. It is essential that faculty request the presence of their Association Representative in any situation that suggests possible hostile treatment by a manager.

Conflict of interest. The other grievance charged a conflict of interest by a manager who conducted an annual appraisal after a faculty member had provided information to the administration regarding possible misconduct by the manager. The mediated settlement provides for training of both managers and union representatives in conflict-of-interest guidelines. The manager was ultimately disciplined, and although the content of annual appraisals can not be grieved, it was CSEA's position that the manager's personal feelings related to the disciplinary action by the College made a fair appraisal of the faculty member impossible.

Two other grievances, one involving reinstatement of a terminated faculty members and another dealing with contract hours, have reached understandings that we expect will lead to agreements within the next week. More on those in the next Update

Thank you to CSEA Association Representatives Dave Busch, Charlie Gallucci and Bill Mundy for their work in helping to get these four grievances resolved. It is individuals working together for the benefit of all faculty that makes CSEA. Your membership, your questions, your support, and your participation are all part of the collective effort that makes CSEA an essential element in the continued success of the College. Everyone does better when everyone does better.


Although faculty are not required to be shackled to their chairs during office hours, some courtesies to students and colleagues are in order if you need to step away from the office during posted hours. A simple note on the door indicating when you'll return will help students, department secretaries, and colleagues. Missed office hours that are not re-scheduled should be reported as personal leave time.


In compliance with various laws and provisions of our contract, the College sends any required notifications to the most recent address on file with the HR office. If you have changed your address any time in the past few years, contact the HR office to make sure that your current address is on file. And if you change your address in the future, be sure to notify both the Association and the College so each can maintain up-to-date information.


Although its January Board meeting agenda usually includes authorization of new faculty positions for the following academic year, the Board of Trustees did not approve any new positions at its January 22 meeting.

CSEA President Steve Abbott addressed the Board on the issue during the public-comment portion of the meeting. He said that the College's accrediting body had noted the serious imbalance between full-time and adjunct faculty in its report in 2000. Although the Ohio Board of Regents recommends a ratio of 60%/40% for full-time to part-time faculty, Columbus State full-time faculty teach below 30% of courses. He reminded Board members that they had made a commitment to improving the numbers in coming years by adding 16 new full-time faculty a year for 3 years.

The College did hire 16 new faculty the first year but has hired only 8 per year since then, an increase of less than 4% annually at the same time that student enrollment has increased dramatically, ranging from 8% to 12 % per year during the same period. In other words, the ratio of full-time to adjunct faculty, and the ratio of full-time faculty to students, is growing worse rather than improving.

Abbott further pointed out that the College's hiring schedule places it at a serious competitive disadvantage with other colleges and universities. Most colleges advertise new positions in autumn for hiring the following autumn, with ads noting that the filling of any position will be subject to availability of funding. Columbus State, however, does not authorize positions until January, and only in March begins the process of publicly posting positions for autumn. This practice results in CSCC beginning interviews at the same time that other higher-education institutions have completed their interviewing and are offering jobs to prospective faculty. Abbott urged the Board to revise the hiring schedule, posting positions earlier and, like other colleges, making the actual hiring subject to the availability of sufficient funds.

At its March meeting of the Committee of the Whole, the Board approved the hiring of 4 new faculty for Autumn Quarter. This is an increase of less than 2% in a period when enrollment is expected to increase by nearly triple that amount.

The Association-Management Committee, which meets several times each quarter, will be addressing this issue as part of its work.


The Coordinator / Lead Instructor Committee, made up of representative from the administration and CSEA, has held several meetings. Formed as part of our contract agreement, the committee is exploring issues related to coordinator/lead instructor roles. If anyone-especially program coordinators and lead instructors-has questions or would like to offer insights into changes that would improve this aspect of faculty work and program supervision, contact Karl Rieppel (Computer Science, x2500), Susan Moran (Technical Communications, x5453), or Rick Greely (Massage Therapy, x5693).


Congratulations to Kevin James (Assistant Professor, Mathematics), who was among 27 faculty and staff from 18 states who recently graduated from the NEA Higher Education Emerging Leader Academy. Kevin participated in a year-long series of seminars and workshops to develop union leadership skills. He serves on the Association-Management Committee.

What's Really Happening is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Steve Abbott, President / x5096
Karl Rieppel, Vice President / x2500
Amy Brubaker, Secretary and Association Representative / x5068
Greg Goodhart, Treasurer / x5431
Darrell Minor, Parliamentarian / x5310
Bill Mundy, Association Representative / x5176
Dr. Jane McDowell, Association Representative / x2656 
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693
Lisa Schneider, Association Representative / x5124

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